Grades of Gundam Models

  • By: Richard
  • Date: August 24, 2021
  • Time to read: 13 min.

History

History Gundam is a franchise of anime and manga series that is created in 1979 by Yoshiyuki Tomino. Since then, the Gundam’s popularity has expanded worldwide, with multiple television shows, movies, video games, and more released over the years to follow. The story starts as just being about a war between Earth forces and those from outer space. Still, it eventually expands into an entire universe with different factions fighting for control, like Celestial Being or Union Earthers. But what does any of this have to do with grades? Today, we’re going to be looking at all you need to know before picking out your first grade model kit!

How is a Gundam Graded?

A Gundam grades by the model’s level of detail and complexity, but not every grade is appropriate for a beginner. The S grade has very little articulation, so if you want a movement-heavy Gundam, then this would be your best bet. If you’re looking for something that looks good on display or as part of an action figure collection, go with the A Grade! This also makes it easier because now all you need is to look at which one suits your needs!

The Gundam models can be divided into several different classes, each increasingly high quality and complex. High Grade is the most affordable class, where all kits are pre-painted, while Master Grade offers a more complex build requiring painting skills. On the other hand, Perfect Grade features an insane level of detail and articulation from every possible angle!

# Grade Scale Centimeters Inches Description
1 (HG) High Grade 1/144 12.7 5 Easy to build and designed with many stickers. It often has limited detail but is easy to assemble.
2 (RG) Real Grade 1/44 12.7 5 It has more pieces and more details than HG.
3 (MG) Master Grade 1/100 19.05 7.5 Fewer stickers and more detail.
4 (PG) Perfect Grade 1/60 30.48 12 Sets contain many pieces and the detail in them is quite high. They are released less frequently than other grades, too.
5 (FG) First Grade 1/144 12.7 5 The 1980s saw the release of many 1/144 scale model kits. Unlike modern kits, which contain many pieces and details, these re-makes are simple – few pieces and few details.
6 (AG) Advanced Grade 1/144 12.7 5 No need for paint. Doesn’t have the same articulation as High Grade (HG).
7 (MS) Mega Size 1/48 35.56 14 The figures are large and not very detailed.
8 (SD) Super Deformed 4.5 2 A “chibi” counterpart to the other models.
9 (RE100) Reborn 100 Table 19.05 7.5 The “No Grade” 1/100 series was remade.
10 (No Grade) 1/100 1/100 19.05 7.5 Higher Grades of Gunpla, such as Master Grades lack the detail of Middle Grades.
The chart above contains a list of the differences between each grade and which would be best for you; more detail about the information is listed in the chart above.

(HG) High Grade

The High Grade (HG) is the most affordable and popular among Gundam model builders. It’s easy to find great models in this category, with all of your favorite mecha from the original Mobile Suit Gundam series available at very reasonable prices. These are perfect for beginners who like building kits but want something simpler than Master Grade (MG) or Perfect Grade (PG) offerings. They are also a good choice for people looking to complete their collection without spending too much money on one kit.

(RG) Real Grade

The RG grade is the next level in terms of complexity and detail, focusing on realism. The size of these kits is much larger than HG models or MG offerings, which means you need to pay more attention to what goes into each kit so that it doesn’t overpower your display shelf! But if you have the space and ambition for something bigger, this might be a good pick.

(MG) Master Grade

Master grade models kits contain complex inner frames, detail on the outside, and many of them come with movable joints to give you even more freedom in posing. These are often some of the most expensive kits available for any given Gundam series, but they’re also a great choice if you want something that will really stand out without breaking your budget.

(PG) Perfect Grade

Perfect Grade kits are the most detailed and complex of any grade available. These models contain exact, high quality materials that put other grades to shame!

They often come with many parts and additional display pieces like stands or weapons so they can be displayed on their own without requiring any extra work from you. If you’re looking for something exceptional, then this is likely your best pick, but it also comes at the highest cost by far due to its complexity.

(FG) First Grade

The First Grade is the first level of high-grade kits that offer perfect articulation and detail. They’re not as complex or costly as PG models, so if you want to get into higher quality but don’t have a lot of money to spend, then this might be the right option for you!

(AG) Advanced Grade

Advanced Grade kits are the last level of high-scale models that offer a perfect blend between detail and mobility. They’re just below PG in terms of complexity, but they don’t come with as many extras like stands or weapons, which means you have to be careful when displaying them on their own without props.

(MS) Mega Size

Mega Size kits are the largest available and offer a lot of detail for their size. The downside is that they’re often not as detailed or complex, so it might be difficult to use them without feeling like you’ve missed out on some important points. But if space isn’t an issue, this could still be a good choice because they offer something different from the other grades!

(SD) Super Deformed

Super Deformed (SD) kits are the tiniest available and offer a lot of detail for their size. The downside is that they’re often not as detailed or complex, so it might be difficult to use them without feeling like you’ve missed out on some important points. But if space isn’t an issue, this could still be a good choice because they offer something different from the other grades!

(RE100) Reborn 100

Reborn 100 is a new type of kit that offers PG’s detail and complexity but on a smaller scale. They’re not as high quality or detailed, which means they might be better for beginners who want to get into more complex models without risking too much money until they know whether they like it!

(No Grade) 1/100

All of the grades listed here are an option for anyone looking to get into more complex models. There isn’t a “No Grade,” but if you find any other grade that doesn’t fit into these categories, it might be worth checking out!

Other Lines

(EG) Entry Grade

Entry Grade kits are a good choice for beginners who want to get into more complex models without risking too much money until they know whether they like it!

(MSM) Mega Size Model

(MSM) Mega Size Model kits are the largest available and offer a lot of detail for their size. The downside is that they’re often not as detailed or complex, so it might be difficult to use them without feeling like you’ve missed out on some important points. But if space isn’t an issue, this could still be a good choice because they offer something different from the other grades!

UC Hardgraph

UC Hardgraph is a new type of kit that offers PG’s detail and complexity but on a smaller scale. They’re not as high quality or detailed, which means they might be better for beginners who want to get into more complex models without risking too much money until they know whether they like it!

Gunpla Model Grades

Next, let’s talk about scale. Gunpla kits generally come in several scales based on how the model would measure up to an actual Gundam. Many models defy this scale, but they’re few and far between! Here’s a list of some common sizes you’ll see when dealing with Gunplas:

  • 1/144: The smallest size available for Gundam plastic models is 1/144. I was surprised when making my first model on this scale, as its face only measures the size of a thumbnail! It looked much larger on the box than it did to me. Keep in mind that not all small-scale Gundams are less detailed; Real Grade and High Grade versions exist at this level too.
  • 1/100: I like to think about the next size up, and I have my eye on a few models that come in this scale. Master Grade models are made of this model as well as Reborn-One Hundreds.
  • 1/60: You can display this figure in detail you desire. You could go with a less detailed High Grade or get it all down pat and snag yourself a Perfect Grade, but nobody will miss out on this big guy sitting proudly on your shelf.
  • 1/48: Mega Size kits are like the rare trophy fish of gunpla. Available only in select stores and never seen too often, a Mega Size kit will make you feel as if your collection is complete.
  • 1/12: These fascinating treasures are usually used for display at hobby shops. Now and then, one goes on the market to the tune of $3,400!
  • 1/1: All right, you can’t actually make one of these, but you CAN see it in Japan!

Nonscale: Anything that doesn’t conform to our scaling standards. These are especially true when talking about SD Gunpla, which is why they’re usually banned from competition by many establishments and cons.

Recommended Gundam Models For Beginners

HG IBO 1/144

HG IBO 1/144 Astaroth Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans Action Figure


Your collection will be incomplete without the Astaroth Gundam. This blue and gray poly-resin kit with snap-together parts shares a strong suite of weapons that includes a rifle, a small knife, and the Demolition Knife–a massive steel sword for slicing through other units in your way!

HG Orphans Gundam Barbatos Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans

HG Orphans Gundam Barbatos Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans Action Figure


He may not be royalty, but this Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans action figure is every bit a hero in disguise! This 5″ tall figure features articulated joints and comes with the giant mace he uses to fight for his freedom as well as the katana, which slays dragons. Runners are included to recreate epic scenes from your favorite anime series, while stickers allow you to customize them any way you like. Collect all six mechs available for combat today!

Age-FX 1/144 High Grade

Age-FX 1/144 High Grade Model Kit


Gundam Age-FX kits are a snap to assemble and don’t need any glue or paint. The parts come pre-colored, so all you need to do is assemble them! This kit includes 7 runners, 1 foil sticker, and one instruction manual.

Wing Gundam Ver EW

BAN203222 RG 1/144 #20 Wing Gundam Ver EW


Wing has the best weapon options and unique colors that make any Gundam fan want to have him! Be careful how you’re looking at Wing’s Shield though, it’s not just for show-you can actually use it! It offers a second layer of protection against enemies with more firepower than the average grunt.

What Tools Do I Need To Build A Gundam?

You need a few tools to construct your Gundam. You’ll require the following:

  • A hobby knife or other sharp craft blade for cutting plastic sheeting and polystyrene blocks
  • Glue (preferably superglue) for gluing parts together
  • Fine grit sandpaper
  • Acetone (nail polish remover), paint thinner, or lacquer thinners – these can be used as solvents to clean excess glue from joints between two pieces of polystyrene block.
When using acetone, you should use protective gloves, eye protection and work in a well-ventilated area. This is particularly important when working with ABS plastics which dissolve easily in acetones! It’s also not great for your skin, so be careful!
  • A modeling kit, which would include plastic pieces and polystyrene blocks. You can also get kits with clear parts to represent windows or lights.
  • (Optional) Paint for painting detail on the finished model
  • Clear glue – this is used when assembling models that have transparent components such as a cockpit window or eyes to give them an extra layer of protection from scratches and knocks

You’ll need some tools before you start building too: 

  • Scissors are needed to cut any plastic sheets/blocks yourself because hobby knives only cut straight lines. You may want to invest in high quality scissors too; they last longer than other types of scissors since these are used for cutting plastics.
  • A ruler is helpful when measuring the best height and width of a model’s pieces and their general size.
  • Tweezers are needed to hold small parts in place while you put glue on them or paint them – this prevents your fingers from getting stuck together with the part! They can also be used to pick up tiny screws that have been painted over so they won’t show through their holes anymore.
  • The tweezers I use are these by Jiyuetang! These come in handy too, if you want to make sure certain parts don’t touch each other before gluing them down (like hands that need to stay straight)
  • (Optional) A ruler and a pencil are needed if you want to draw on your models. The ruler is set up with straight lines, which can be used as guidelines for drawing, while the pen will help make things like windows, lights, or other small details stand out more! You could also use an erasable marker, but I find it’s not quite as accurate because they’re not always solid enough in color, so sometimes when you erase them, bits of ink still show through, making parts hard to see.

FAQs

What is the most complicated Gundam master grade?

The most complicated Gundam master grade is the MG, or Master Grade. This scale includes grades from MG to PG and G. If you want a really detailed model but doesn’t have too much time to dedicate to it; this might be for you! The next step down would be an RG which stands for Real Grade. These are about half as expensive and take less effort since they lack so many smaller details like panel lines that need painting to make them look realistic. RGs only go up to RP 06 now (which means there are no more released), but some of these models come with different weapons such as beam sabers or swords, depending on what type of mobile suit they represent in the anime Gundam series.

As the grades go up, it becomes more and more difficult to find an affordable model. This is because of their high detail- these models often take longer to assemble than other grade types, resulting in problems with painting. They are also much larger in size so that that storage may be an issue for some people! This might not be for you if you want a really detailed Gundam but don’t have too much space or time to dedicate.

What are Gundam resin kits?

Gundam resin kits are made up of many components that come together to make one final model. The most fundamental piece is the frame, which provides the structure for all other parts and determines how big your finished Gundam will be. Each kit includes an instruction manual so you can put it together easily! Next comes decals – these may include stickers or water slides (pieces with a transparent background) that go on top of any surface area not covered by paint or clear coating. Finally, there’s paint and glue to finish off everything and give your Gundam its signature color scheme. All in all, building a kit takes some time but has many benefits: even if you’re inexperienced at plastic modeling or painting, you’ll learn new techniques as you work!

What are Gundam heads?

Gundam heads are model kits of the robots from Mobile Suit Gundam. Japanese company Bandai originally designed them, but other companies have also created their own versions over time. The first models came out in 1979, and they quickly became a staple for both fans of the series and those interested in engineering or robotics.

Are Gundam models pre painted?

Wooden Gunpla models are usually pre-painted, meaning they’re made from laminated wood with the paint already applied to them. This is what gives them their smooth appearance and texture. The colors may vary depending on where you purchase your model, but these models come in earth tones like browns, blacks, or grays most of the time.

What is Gundam made from?

These are models made out of plastic and metal. Limbs can be removed so different modes are achievable by reconfiguring parts to any semblance of a robotic form one desires – whether it’s a walking automaton or an arm with an extendable hand for grasping objects with precision and strength.

Why is Gundam so expensive?

Kits Gundam are expensive because they are high quality and all materials are required to produce the kits. The construction of each kit is complex, as each kit employs more than 250 individual pieces. Even with a huge selection of these kits available in markets today, demand remains strong because collectors can’t get enough of them.

The other reason is that people just love Gundam!

Conclusion

With so many grades of Gundam models to choose from, it can be hard to decide which one is right for you. Luckily this article has given insight into what each grade entails and how the model’s complexity affects its price point.  The key thing to remember is that it will be more expensive if you are going for a model with the most detail.

Richard

Hi! I'm Richard Baker, a miniature painter who has been painting for about ten years. My website is packed with great advice that I've learned from both books and personal experience on building and painting miniatures.

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